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1849.3 NY Game Shown to "Show Me" State of MO
"Indigenous peoples west of the Mississippi may not have seen the game until 1849 when Alexander Cartwright, near Independence, Missouri, noted baseball play in his April 23rd diary entry: 'During the past week we have passed the time in fixing wagon covers . . . etc., varied by hunting and fishing and playing baseball [sic]. It is comical to see the mountain men and Indians playing the new game. I have a ball with me that we used back home.'"
Altherr, Thomas L., "North American Indigenous People and Baseball: 'The One Single Thing the White Man Has Done Right,'" in Altherr, ed., Above the Fruited Plain: Baseball in the Rocky Mountain West, SABR National Convention Publication, 2003, page 20.
Some scholars have expressed doubt about the authenticity of this diary entry, which differs from an earlier type-script version.
Is Tom saying that there were no prior safe-haven ball games [cricket, town ball, wicket] out west, or just that the NY game hadn't arrived until 1849?
1849.13 Did Cartwright Play Ball on His Way to California?
"April 23, 1849 [evidently the day before Cartwright left Independence MO for California] During the past week we have passed the time in fixing the wagon covers, stowing away property etc., varied by hunting , fishing, swimming and playing base-ball. I have the ball and book of Rules with me that we used in forming the Knickerbocker Base-ball Club back home."
Cartwright family typed copy of lost handwritten diary by Alexander Cartwright, as cited in Monica Nucciarone, Alexander Cartwright: The Life Behind the Baseball Legend (UNebraska Press, 2009), page 31. Nucciarone adds that this version differs from the transcription in a Hawaii museum, in that the baseball references only appear in the family's version.
The legend is that Cartwright played his way west. Nucciarone, page 30: "[W]hile it's easy to imagine Cartwright playing baseball when he could and spreading the new game across the country as he went, it's much more difficult to prove he did this. The evidence is scant and inconsistent."
1859.39 Club Organized in St. Louis MO
"CLUB ORGANIZED, - A base ball club was organized in St. Louis, Mo, on the 1st inst. It boasts of being the first organization of the kind in that city, but will not, surely, long stand alone. It numbers already 18 members, officers as follows: President, C. D. Paul; Vice do, J. T. Haggerty; Secretary, C. Thurber; Treasurer, E. R. Paul. They announce their determination to be ready to play matches in about a month.
New York Clipper, September 3, 1859.
In a 4/1/2013 email, Jeff Kittel confirms the date and source of this account, and estimates that this is he oldest primary evidence of base ball, and of a base ball club, in St. Louis.
1860.31 Base Ball Crosses State of Missouri
"BASE BALL IN MISSOURI: St. Joseph, Mo, April 7, 1860. Friend Clipper: On Saturday last, a" jovial party" met on the ground near the cemetery, to engage in he healthful and vigorous game of ball; parties were paired off, and the game was one of lively interest to all. After the game was closed, it was decided to form a "Ball Club". . . . On motion of Jos. Tracy, the name of the Club was fixed as the "Franklin Base Ball Club."
New York Clipper, April 21, 1860, p.7
St. Joseph is about 30 miles north of Kansas City MO. There is no solid clue here as to whether this team was to follow rules for the New York game.
1860.52 First Base Ball Match in St. Louis MO
[A] "The historical record states that the St. Louis Republican newspaper announced on July 9, 1860 that the first regular game of baseball in St. Louis was to be played that day at a location of what we know today as Fair Grounds Park in St. Louis. The game was to be played between the 'Cyclone' and the 'Morning Star' Baseball Clubs."
[B] Jeff Kittel has found the report of the match. It turns out that a 17-run 2nd inning was decisive. The article reports "a large number of spectators, among whom were several ladies." New Yorker S. L. Putnam was the ump.
[A] Website of the Missouri Civil War Museum, http://www.mcwm.org/ history_baseball.html, accessed April 10, 2009.
[B] St. Louis Daily Bulletin, Wednesday, July 11, 1860.
The result and box score appeared in Wilkes Spirit of the Times, July 28, 1860
1860.53 Organized Town Ball in St. Louis
"Town Ball. - All the Deputy Sheriff's, Marshall's and some of the clerks at the Court House went out on Franklin Avenue, in Leffingwell Avenue, yesterday afternoon, and had a spirited game of old town ball. We are glad to know that this pleasant game has been revived this season. A regular club has been organized, and will meet once a week during the season."
St. Louis Daily Bulletin, Friday, May 4, 1860.